Fair play to you for pumping us up for next year. For me there are still a few big question marks over our team that will make a title challenge difficult:Did you get a chance to read the responses? Basically: way too many "Ole isn't proven-enough manager" fans on this forum. Despite the fact that any manager needs a great squad to challenge for a title. I doubt Pep would have done much better with the crap of a squad Ole inherited, but...
Anyway, what gives me hope is: quality of signings (even if Bruno's could have been earlier), improvement in those who can improve (AWB, Shaw, Greenwood are a delight to watch), and that Ole clearly holds his own with top teams (takes a good tactician when it happens consistently), and after Bruno's arrival we have been much more consistent. The squad is still not finished, we need couple key signings, some more cleaning and some more depth, but a lot of it could happen in the summer, if Ole is backed properly.
p.s. Today's game against Brighton was amazing!
- I think Pogba has to stay. If he leaves we are not replacing him with a like-for-like, because there isn't one, any replacement creative player we did get would not be as good and need time to bed in. If we didn't get another creative midfielder we'd be back to throwing everything on the shoulders of one player, which we know from bitter experience just doesn't work
- Maguire - Lindelof - De Gea has certainly not been good enough this season. Whether this year together will give them a better understanding, Lindelof will improve and De Gea will rediscover his previous world class form are open possibilities, but at the moment Liverpool and City have the drop on us with Alisson-Van Diyk and Ederson-Laporte (though the latter are having real problems finding a quality partner, Liverpool will be stronger still with a fit Joe Gomez)
- I have more faith in AWB and Shaw's potential as attacking threats than most on this forum, the glimpses they've shown here and there have excited me, but my issue is with the lack of chemistry I see between them and the forwards in front of them, not to mention their inside midfielders. You could argue it takes time, that AWB hasn't had a proper partner with whom to develop an understanding and that Shaw's runs inside Rashford v Brighton could be a potential blueprint for the future, but it needs a lot more work for me, much more than City's system under Pep and certainly more than Liverpool's which has TAA and Robertson as the main outlets. On the plus side we have Williams who I like and who will have a role to play next year
- I think Matic will be ok next season and I like our midfield options as they stand currently. Another quality deep midfielder, either a playmaker or a pure destroyer, wouldn't go amiss but our first choice three of Pogba-Matic-Bruno looks fine to me. Obviously a long-term injury or loss of form for Matic would worry us if no defensive mid comes in in summer
- Ole. I'm not one to baldly dismiss him as a manager who could win things, but as of now he lacks the pedigree of Pep and Klopp and the main overarching concern for me this year has been the amount of times we've been the better team in games but have found ways to throw points away. This is important to me because even if I grant you the fact Ole has had to make do with a very average and incomplete United squad in games where we have got ourselves on top and are not playing a team of world beaters we have lost control of games via an error, via a set piece, via an inability to react to a tactical tweak or a substitution. Ole has done well fazing out those with no future here and bringing through those that do, but even with a better squad I could see his side failing to capitalise on chances to get on top and stay there next season. His tactical jobs in big games have been impressive, what I think he lacks is the will to grind out wins like United teams of yore and, let's face it, Klopp's Liverpool this season. If he proves me wrong next year I would delight in eating every portion of humble pie there is, but for now I don't see him as a title challenger, nor the team just yet.